New MTSU-NSCC agreement will help students earn de...

New MTSU-NSCC agreement will help students earn degrees

The presidents of MTSU and Nashville State Community College signed an agreement March 14 to make it easier for students to earn degrees from both institutions.

MTSU’s Dr. Sidney A. McPhee and Nashville State’s Dr. George Van Allen officially authorized a Concurrent Enrollment and Reverse Transfer Agreement to ease the processes between the two Tennessee Board of Regents institutions and encourage students’ academic success.

Nashville State hosted the signing of the agreement, which expands on the already-established Dual Admission Program between the two institutions. The new agreement provides advising, registration priority and admission to MTSU while the student is still at NSCC.

“This builds on our dual admissions agreement,” McPhee said. “We’ll be working with students, easing the transition and eliminating a lot of the hassle. This will give them priority registration, which is a highly valued perk, and access to all student support services.

“This agreement goes a long way in achieving those goals and making a better life for those in our community.”

“The agreement is novel because it is focused solely on enhancing student achievement and on upward educational mobility,” Van Allen said. “It is also the most comprehensive agreement affecting students that I have read in my nearly 40 years in higher education. I believe it will serve as a model for other institutions for some time to come.”

Nashville State’s plans to open a satellite campus in Antioch also play a part in the new pact.

“When we open the campus in Antioch, it will be in close proximity to MTSU,” Van Allen said, “and this agreement will impact those students.”

MTSU President Sidney McPhee, left, and Nashville State Community College President George Van Allen prepare to sign a new agreement on March 14 that will make it easier for students to earn degrees from both institutions. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Dr. Kim Estep, vice president for academic affairs and student services at Nashville State, was among the higher-education officials attending the ceremony.

“Nashville State is delighted to provide these additional opportunities for students to experience a seamless transition between NSCC and MTSU,” she said. “MTSU has been a great partner with NSCC, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration.”

Nancy Eisenbrandt, chief operating officer for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, took note of the positive impact the agreement will have on the future workforce for Nashville and middle Tennessee.

“The collaboration between these two institutions is a very, very important initiative,” Eisenbrandt said after the ceremony.

MTSU also has established dual-admission programs with Chattanooga State, Dyersburg State and Motlow State community colleges.

The “concurrent enrollment” aspect of the new agreement allows students to enroll in classes at both institutions simultaneously and get financial aid for the total number of credits if needed. That also should help community-college students in selected majors to enroll in other required lower-division courses that are currently offered only at MTSU, such as nutrition, interior design and Concrete Industry Management.

The “reverse transfer” portion of the plan gives former NSCC students who enrolled at MTSU without receiving an associate’s degree from NSCC the opportunity to transfer their MTSU credits back to NSCC and receive a two-year diploma.

Students must meet certain criteria to be eligible for the new partnership with NSCC, including meeting admissions standards for MTSU.

— Randy Weiler (